Venturing out of the closet

If you know me in real life, the blogging, reading and writing parts of my personalities are not what I like to present first (or present at all). To the “what do you do?” question, I’ve never answered “I’m a blogger” or “I’m a writer”. There are many other answers I can give that all seem easier too me. I don’t see myself like that outside of the internet.

To make things worse, I work in a company that is a world away from anything literary. While my colleagues often see my arriving in the morning with a book in hand (I read during my commute), they have guessed that I like reading, but they have no clue about my blog (do they know what a blog is?), and I don’t want that to change too much.

Well, maybe some change is in the air after all.

I’ve been reading Oprah magazine for a decade (at least!) and probably too many self-help books, but it’s only recently that I’ve started to try fun things without caring much about what other people might say or think of me. I’ve started to fake it if I could not yet make it. I’ve started to talk to people in bookshops (it’s not the proper Parisian etiquette, at all), to ask for book recommendations. I’ve started to speak about books to some colleagues. And the earth hasn’t stopped turning, apparently.

Yesterday, I ventured into a specialized library and I inquired about making research for a story I’m writing. It felt weird to my own ears to say things like:

– I am writing a novel set at a certain period and I need to do some research about it, do you know what kind of resources I could access here and how I can get a membership card?

I thought the librarian would roll his eyes and tell me that he had better things to do than answering phony questions of someone who has not been published. But he was too polite to do this. Maybe, just maybe, he believed me, because he gave me very useful information and got out of his way to show me everything available.

Today, I went to my office library and asked about some new books. The volunteer there is a new one, very keen on American comics (not my cup of tea). We had started to talk seriously about mangas the week before. When he said that they hadn’t had time to stock up on new books in English because they were short-staffed and there’s no one to take care of this shelf, I couldn’t believe myself when I just asked if I could volunteer! The old me would never never had tried that. I’m not an extrovert or impulsive person, or am I? I’ll see how this one will turn out, but I’ll go and meet some other volunteers on Tuesday to see how I can fit in.

What new experience are you trying these days?

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10 thoughts on “Venturing out of the closet

  1. Good for you!

    I volunteered this week to help students on a local post graduate course for people who want to work in museums and art galleries hone their presentation skills. I don’t know much about the world of art, but I do know something about how to speak to the public. With luck we will all kern something from each other.

  2. Well done! I haven’t been trying new experiences, unless you count the rather new sensation of saying ‘No’ to certain things (and not being struck down by lightning for doing so).

    • Saying no is certainly a very useful experience. That might as a shocker to some people if they are used to you saying yes, but the earth won’t probably stop turning and you’ll have more time for yourself!

  3. Good for you! I’ve been trying to be more social in bicycling circles and I have even tried a couple races. In a little over a month I will become a keeper of chickens.

    Yay for trying new things and having new experiences

  4. Bravo! I joined a new gym this year, and have been doing some new pilates-type exercises at home three times a week as well. It’s not easy to fit in the time, but I feel so much better when I get exercise! So I guess that’s my new thing lately.

  5. Hey cool! Good for you! I’m trying, gradually, to be a bit less reluctant to ask people for things and use the telephone a bit more. Sometimes, if I want a piece of information quickly, the easiest thing is to call somewhere and ask a person about it, instead of fishing around on the internet for a hundred years. I don’t even really know where my reluctance around this comes from!

    • I totally understand the scary telephone thing. Sometimes, the chat function is the best of both worlds (a real person on the other side of the screen) but in some other circumstances, you can’t avoid the phone… just go for it, it will certainly get easier after some successful attempts!

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